Karnataka covid news: In a week, Covid takes a worrisome turn in Karnataka

Bengaluru: All seemed well on the Covid battlefront in Karnataka till last week. But the series of deaths and a sudden spike in positive cases during the past week has caused some anxious moments in government circles. The state’s average compounded daily growth rate in deaths over five days reached 7.4% exceeding the country’s average of 6%.

Also, of the 10 deaths reported last week, six were Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) cases. It triggered fears about the possibility of community transmission, but this was ruled out as the government confirmed they were primary and secondary contacts of Covid-19 patients and had not come under the radar of local authorities.

Since the six weeks that the first Covid-19 case was reported in Karnataka, the total count of confirmed cases so far is 390. Barring Kerala, the state is in a comfortable position in the absolute number of cases, compared to larger states like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh and rest of the southern states.

One of the major challenges before the government now is to control the deaths due to Covid-19.


After a meeting with epidemiologists on Friday, chief minister BS Yediyurappa said the government will focus on early detection of cases to prevent the number of deaths. “We have analysed that patients visit doctors on an average at least four days after they develop symptoms. They should report sooner,” he said.

The government has asked people with mild influenza-like symptoms to visit fever clinics and report at the earliest. There are about 450 fever clinics across the state including 31 in BBMP limits. In an effort to prevent mixing of Covid with non-Covid patients, the government has put in place an escalation matrix.

As per the plan, if doctors find the patient who visits the fever clinic to be a Covid-19 suspect, they collect swab samples and put the patient in the Covid-care centre attached to the clinic for a couple of days until the lab test result arrives. If the person tests positive and has mild-to-moderate symptoms, he/she will be shifted to supervised isolation wards in referral hospitals. Only those patients with severe symptoms are taken to Covid-19 hospitals like Victoria and Bowring that are well equipped with ICU and ventilator facilities. There are 31 Covid-19 hospitals in the state.

Health officials say that the escalation matrix has been created to ensure Covid-19 hospitals are not overburdened with mild and moderate cases.

Health experts say that the way forward for the government is to allow Covid-19 patients with mild-to-moderate symptoms to self-isolate at home rather than admitting every person to hospital. “Most patients do not need hospital care to get cured. People can recover at home if they take all necessary precautions. It will reduce the burden on hospitals and healthcare professionals,” said epidemiologist Giridhar Babu from the Public Health Foundation of India.

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